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Windy Valley, beloved in Baltimore County but long absent, planning a comeback

It won’t be the same Windy Valley, but Matthew Musgrove hopes it’ll be close enough.

Windy Valley, a Falls Road ice cream and burger shack that was as well known for the pony rides it offered local children as for the homemade deliciousness it served for more than half a century, will be making a comeback next year, though elsewhere in Baltimore County. Musgrove, president and CEO of Padonia Park Club in Cockeysville and descendant of the McCaffrey family that founded the original Windy Valley, announced his plans via a press release and social media Wednesday.

“It’s been a mission of mine for many years,” said Musgrove, who lives in northern Baltimore County and whose background includes working in guest relations for the Walt Disney Co. in Florida. “A lot of people remember Windy Valley, and in this day and age of revivals and things of that nature, I just think it’s something that people are looking for.”

Plans call for two Windy Valley locations, both in Baltimore County but neither at the original Falls Road location, just north of Joppa Road where the Greenspring Station complex now stands. The first, Musgrove said, will be on the grounds of the Padonia Park swim club, on Jenifer Road, and is expected to open in April. The second, at a site yet to be determined, should open around the same time, he said.

The new Windy Valley, Musgrove said, will be “reminiscent, but it won’t be an exact replica of what was there originally.”

The classic Windy Valley, the simple mention of which can still bring a smile to area residents of a certain age, began as a farm run by the McCaffrey family in 1928, Musgrove said. They began serving homemade frozen custard, ice cream and other products out of the structure on Falls Road shortly thereafter, and remained in business until 1992, when original owner Joe McCaffrey died and the business was sold. Another family purchased the business that year, eventually tearing down the original structure and constructing a new one a couple hundred feet away.

That business, which operated as a general store and still sold ice cream, was sold in December 2003; the location is now a Poulet restaurant.

Famous as its ice cream was, Windy Valley may have been better known for its pony rides, which the McCaffrey family made available for years. “There are a lot of kids in Baltimore who had their first pony ride there, I can tell you,” one longtime Windy Valley customer told The Sun in 2003.

The rides disappeared when the McCaffrey family sold the business in 1992. Musgrove said he expects it to return to the new Windy Valley, kinda.

“The pony rides here at Padonia will be for special events, and the same thing will happen at the larger new location,” he said. “We will do pony rides, but not on a daily basis.”

ckaltenbach@baltsun.com

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